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Published: 20 May 2019   •   Media release

Water levels in the Torrumbarry weir pool will vary through autumn and winter this year in an effort to help improve the health of the river banks.

Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) Executive Director of River Management, Andrew Reynolds, said locals and visitors to Torrumbarry may notice changes to water levels from mid-May, with the weir pool to be lowered by up to 50 centimetres.

"Fifty centimetres might not seem much—but even minor changes to the weir pool level help to restore a more natural drying and wetting cycle, which benefits the long term-term health of the local river environment," Mr Reynolds said.

"Holding weir pool levels steady for long periods of time causes bank saturation, which leaves the banks more vulnerable to erosion from wind and vessel wash.

"Lowering the weir pool water level from time to time reduces soil saturation and promotes the growth of native fringing vegetation.

"Torrumbarry's weir pool level will be gradually lowered by about two centimetres per day from mid-May and will reach a maximum of 50 centimetres below the full supply level by the end of June. The level will slowly rise again in July and we expect to return to near full supply level in time for the start of the irrigation season in August.

"This action is being conducted by the MDBA in cooperation with Victorian and New South Wales water agencies, consistent with practices at locks 7, 8, 9 and 15.

"The varying water levels will be monitored and assessed with regard to weir pool conditions and any impacts on the local area and upstream river levels."

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) Interim General Manager Water Delivery, Peter Clydesdale, said the lowering of the weir pool had been timed to avoid impact on irrigation and tourism activities.

"Lowering the weir pool by 50 cm is unlikely to have any significant effect on the use of the river, however, we recommend river users and landholders remain aware of the changing water level in case adjustments need to be made to pumps, moorings and recreational activities," Mr Clydesdale said.

"In particular, GMW customers are being asked to monitor pumping infrastructure to avoid possible damage should water levels drop below extraction levels.

"Houseboat operators are also being advised to keep an eye on river levels as there is an increased risk of boats getting stuck on banks as river levels drop."

Keep up to date with current weir pool levels on River Murray data at riverdata.mdba.gov.au/system-view and subscribe to receive the River Murray Weekly Report.

ENDS

For more information, contact:
MDBA Media office at media@mdba.gov.au and phone 02 6279 0141
GMW Richard Bryce on 03 5826 3470.

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